UK travel patterns failed to changed significantly last year despite a relaxation of lockdown restrictions between March and July 2021, according to the New National Travel Survey figures published by the Department for Transport.
The latest statistics showed that people made 757 trips on average in 2021, or 15 trips a week. This was similar to 2020, but a 21% decrease on the level in 2019 prior to the coronavirus pandemic, when people made an average of 953 trips per year.
People travelled an average of 4,329 miles in 2021, a 33% decrease from 6,500 miles in 2019. On average, people spent around 273 hours travelling in 2021 (around 45 minutes per day), down 26% from the 370 hours of travelling in 2019.
But cars remained the most popular mode of travel, making up 59% of all trips in 2021 (a decrease of 2
percentage points from 2019), and 80% of all miles travelled (an increase of 3 percentage points from 2019).
The proportion of trips that were walked was higher in 2021 and 2020 than in 2019, with a 5 percentage point increase to 31% of all trips in 2021.
The most common trip purpose in 2021 was shopping, with 18% of journeys being made for this purpose. Journeys for the purpose of ‘Other including just walk’ took up 14% of the average person’s trips in this year.
Commuting was the third most common trip purpose in 2021, accounting for 13% of all trips. These three were also the most popular purposes in 2020. Similarly, in 2019 the two most common trip purposes were shopping and commuting, while the third most common trip purpose
was personal business.